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Fleet Battle Experiment (FBE)

The Naval War College oversees the Navy's concept development and experimentation efforts. It supports Navy near and mid-term experimentation on network-centric warfare with the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC). The Navy's principal experimentation activities take place in the fleets themselves in the form of fleet battle experiments (FBEs), which occur while the fleet is engaged in training exercises. These experiments, organized and coordinated through the NWDC's Maritime Battle Center, have already produced results and influenced current operations. Some of the more recent FBEs include:

Each FBE is the culmination of roughly 18 months of planning and coordination among participating military units, technology providers, range operations personnel, and integration teams. Each is designed to examine the CJTF's critical operational issues with an eye towards innovation and concept validation.

Fleet Battle Experiment Alpha (FBE-A)

Fleet Battle Experiment Alpha in 1997 looked at how to provide fire support to the Hunter Warrior teams from carriers, surface combatant ships and even arsenal ships. Overall, the experiments showed that such a force may be able to not only prevail against a much heavier, numerically superior enemy force -- but to dominate it. In fact, one of the Marines' alternate titles for Hunter Warrior is "Agincourt Update."

Fleet Battle Experiment Foxtrot (FBE-F)

FBE Foxtrot [30 Nov - 8 Dec 1999] was shifted from C6F to C5F due to operations in Kosovo and occured 30 November-8 December 1999. Focus areas included Weapons of Mass Destruction and Costal Domanance. Networked combined force required 62% less time to restore mine free shipping in Strait of Hormuz (FBE Foxtrot, Dec 1999). FBE-Foxtrot investigated coordinated joint naval and land fires (including those provided by SOF and U.S. Army Apache helicopters) through an experimental Joint Fires Element. It explored time-critical targeting of a coordinated, multi-layered enemy at a naval chokepoint. The experiment also explored using distributed, collaborative planning to enhance understanding of the undersea environment and operational situation in countermine warfare. A battle management cell for defense against chemical and biological weapons was established to seek improvements in chemical/biological defense readiness and vulnerability assessment, warning and reporting of chem/bio events, and coordination of intra-theater support and initial responses to chemical/biological attacks.

Fleet Battle Experiment Golf (FBE-G)

FBE-Golf, Sixth Fleet, April 2000, Golf investigated concepts allowing the Navy to enter and remain in the littorals indefinitely with the ability to provide intelligence, fires, command and control, sensor management, tracking and targeting from a single battle management cell. Key areas for experimentation included time-critical targeting, and joint and combined theater air missile defense with NATO participation in information management. As a result of the experiment, Commander, Sixth Fleet adopted a digital target folder concept that creates an integrated target environment for commanders, planners, and operators-significantly increasing the effectiveness and situational awareness of his forces.

Fleet Battle Experiment Hotel (FBE-H)

Fleet Battle Experiment Hotel (FBE-H) was the eighth in a series of CNO sponsored, Navy Warfare Development Command/Maritime Battle Center (NWDC/MBC) executed, experiments designed to examine future technologies and innovative operational concepts. FBE-H was conducted in the COMSECONDFLT AOR from 28 August until 12 September 2000.

FBE-Hotel, along with advanced warfighting experiments from each of the other Services, was conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) Millennium Challenge Experiment in September 2000. Its focus was on future warfighting capabilities needed to achieve and maintain access in the littoral- exploring parallel operations, mine interdiction warfare, anti-submarine warfare, force protection, reconnaissance surveillance and target acquisition, stand-off warfare, and the execution of operations by the Joint Forces Maritime Component Commander with organic forces.

The Navy aligned one of its semi-annual Fleet Battle Experiments (FBE "H") with the Army's experimental event in September 2000 is the Joint Contingency Force Advanced Warfighting Experiment (JCF AWE) in September 2000. FBE "H" took place in the Gulf of Mexico with the 2nd Fleet supplying the majority of the forces. The Navy's participation in the JCF AWE included sea-based command and control, joint fires, and sea-based logistics. The Navy also supplied one of its command and control ships, the USS Mt. Whitney, as a platform for the commanders and staffs of the Joint Task Force and Joint Force Air Component Command during various phases of the experiment.

One of the key focuses of FBE-H was assured access in support of joint operations. Several ONR-sponsored Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (non JCM ACTD systems) participated as well as two novel systems from the JCM ACTD (LRS and Advanced Sensors).

Fleet Battle Experiment India (FBE-I)

FBE-India was the ninth in a series of FBEs designed to examine new naval warfighting concepts and technologies in an operational context. It was planned and executed by the Maritime Battle Center of the Navy Warfare Development Command (NWDC) in coordination with Commander, 3rd Fleet, as a unifying theme for the larger Kernel Blitz Experiment (KB(X)) '01. This KB(X) included several Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations (ACTDs) and combined both live and simulated forces across the southwestern ranges.

NWDC was established in Newport, Rhode Island in 1998 as the successor to the Navy Doctrine Command. Now it includes the Doctrine, Concept Development, and Operations Departments, in addition to the Maritime Battle Center, all working together with the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), the Office of Naval Research (ONR), industry, academia, naval warfare centers of excellence, and the fleet, to examine potentially "transformational" concepts. Current focus areas include the High Speed Vessel (HSV) and the Expeditionary Sensor Grid (ESG). The CNO's Strategic Studies Group meets in the same building as NWDC, and the Naval War College is just across the street. This synergistic arrangement provides a fertile ground for the cultivation of ideas on the future of the Navy and the Navy's role in joint force employment. Since the 1 October 2001 fleet realignment, NWDC has reported directly to Commander, Fleet Forces Command.

During FBE-India, rigorous analysis was conducted throughout the planning and execution of the experiment by the NWDC Operations Department, in conjunction with the Institute for Joint Warfare Analysis (IJWA) at the Naval Postgraduate School and the Navy Chief Engineer (CHENG) organization. This analysis will be used to support future acquisition decisions and shape follow-on experimentation.

A virtual nuclear-powered guided missile submarine (SSGN) conducted notional strike operations in support of Joint Task Force (JTF) "Littoral Strike" against the country of Orange during Fleet Battle Experiment (FBE)-India. The virtual SSGN - denoted vSSGN - was represented in the database of the Global Command and Control System-Maritime (GCCS-M) just like any other ship. The vSSGN's converted TRIDENT missile tubes each held seven land-attack weapons, including a mix of Tomahawk, Tactical Tomahawk, and Advanced Land Attack Missiles (ALAMs). The ALAM was modeled as a submarine- launched, medium-range, theater ballistic missile with two warhead variants for either sub-munitions or blast-fragmentation effects. With its simple engagement planning, high speed, and GPS guidance, the notional ALAM gave vSSGN a potent, quick-response weapon to attack TCTs and to support ground forces.

Fleet Battle Experiment Juliet (FBE-J)

For several weeks during July and August 2002, the virtual SSGN was "deployed" a second time to further illuminate the potential role of the Submarine Force in joint force operations. At that time, NUWC hosted vSSGN again as a participant in FBE-Juliet and the Joint Forces Command's Millennium Challenge '02. In FBE-Juliet, the vSSGN simulated launching the UAVs that provide real-time reconnaissance and targeting information to the entire task force in support of joint operations. The vSSGN will also be able to receive and exploit the UAV video organically.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:24:07 Zulu